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Oklahoma 72, Kansas 66

The SportsXchange

NORMAN, Okla. -- Losing streaks are rare for Kansas, but the Jayhawks are mired in one right now.

Oklahoma, meanwhile, celebrated its first win against a top-five opponent under coach Lon Kruger after beating the No. 5 Jayhawks 72-66 Saturday at Lloyd Noble Center.

The Jayhawks, already reeling from an upset Wednesday at TCU, now have to deal with their first three-game losing streak since 2005. Oklahoma was the team that handed the Jayhawks a third straight loss that season, and the Sooners did it again Saturday behind 17 points from Romero Osby and 15 from Steven Pledger.

The Sooners (15-7, 6-4 Big 12) never trailed in the second half, though Kansas (19-4, 7-3) made a charge in the final minute. Elijah Johnson hit a 3-pointer to pull the Jayhawks within 67-64 with 37 seconds to play, and Ben McLemore's tip-in closed the deficit to 68-66 with 18 seconds on the clock.

Oklahoma freshman Je'lon Hornbeak, a 63 percent foul shooter, hit 4 of 6 free throws in the final minute, including a pair that put the Sooners in front 70-66 with 15 seconds to play. Johnson missed a driving layup at the other end, and two free throws from Cameron Clark sealed the victory for the Sooners.

Freshman Buddy Hield capped the win with a breakaway dunk after Johnson lost the ball at midcourt, and Oklahoma's students mobbed the court in celebration.

Oklahoma led 38-34 after a fast-paced first half that saw the Sooners shoot 56 percent from the floor.

KU closed within a point midway through the second half, but the Sooners responded with eight straight points to lead 53-46.

McLemore led KU with 15 points and center Jeff Withey scored 14. The Jayhawks made just 11 of 20 free throws -- 7 of 14 in the second half.

NOTES: Withey blocked one shot to tie the school record of 264 set by Greg Ostertag. . . . Forward Kevin Young returned to the Kansas starting lineup after coming off the bench against TCU. Young has started 19 of the Jayhawks' past 20 games. . . . Freshman guard Isaiah Cousins was in Oklahoma's starting lineup for the first time since Dec. 18. Cousins had started the first 10 games.
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